Low-cost PIRRS option still available to tenants and pub companies operating over 500 pubs, says Pub Governing Body
The Pub Governing Body (PGB), has today reminded licensees with agreements covered by the statutory code that the PIRRS low-cost tied rent resolution service is available as an option if there are disagreements over tied rents, even if the Market rent Only (MRO) option has been initiated. The PGB is the body responsible for codes of practice for companies operating under 500 pubs, and oversees PIRRS (Pub Industry Rent Review Scheme) and PICA-Service (Pub Industry Conciliation and Arbitration Service).
From July 2016, companies operating 500 or more tied pubs were no longer covered by the self-regulatory system set up by the industry, including PIRRS and PICA-Service, and instead became subject to the Pubs Code regulations 2016 and associated legislation. Following approaches to the PGB by both companies and tenants of the larger companies about the option of using the low-cost PIRRS service to resolve tied rent disputes, in January 2017 PIRRS became an available option to these pubs – an estimated 11,500 premises – if both parties agreed to utilise the service.
Companies and tenants wishing to use the service can use PIRRS to resolve tied rent issues on a mutually agreed, case-by-case basis, with payment of an administration fee. Recent discussions have clarified that PIRRS can be used in parallel, or before activating, the Market Rent Only option if both sides agree.
Pub Governing Body chairman Sir Peter Luff said:
“We are pleased that the PIRRS procedure has been made available for those pubs, companies and operators that wish to use it, even if they are covered by the statutory code and are in the process of looking at a Market Rent Only option. “We remind companies and tenants that this service remains available, and that PIRRS can be used to resolve tied rents on a case-by-case basis, if both parties mutually agree. We believe that this element of the PIRRS service is a positive step which will benefit both companies and tenants.”
The Pub Governing Body members are six of the industry’s leading associations representing both tenants and landlords: the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), Brighton & Hove Licensee Association, The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA), and the Guild of Master Victuallers (GMV).